According to the SPCA, 12% of Hong Kong residents have pets. Huffington Post, Google (Alphabet), GoDaddy, and Airbnb are just some companies that have a pet-friendly policy - a trend that show positive results, as evident in studies on employee satisfaction. While this type of employee benefit remains a a hurdle for most of Hong Kong’s business landscape, some are paving the way in being more open-minded and receptive to related findings.
We’re excited to share the news that our new location in Sai Ying Pun, Garage Collective, will be a pet-friendly co-workspace! Intrigued? Be sure to email [email protected] if you’d like to learn more! Photo taken at Garage Collective by The Kandid.
The therapeutic benefits of interacting with dogs are well documented in the context of healthcare and elderly care, and the same logic can be applied to the workplace. According to numerous academic studies, just petting an animal can decrease the production of the stress hormone cortisol, and increase the production of the feel good hormone serotonin.
Reducing workplace stress is linked to a decrease in absenteeism and health issues including heart disease and diabetes. The CDC also cited lowered blood pressure, cholesterol levels, feelings of loneliness, and opportunities for socialisation as some of the additional health benefits of pet ownership.
We’ve been told time and time again that our sedentary lifestyle is slowing killing us. A simple solution is having to accommodate to your pooch’s need to go out every couple of hours. Contrary to the impression that it may lead to a loss in productivity, working with your dog is like having a constant reminder to stretch your legs and step away from the screen. This is especially helpful for high-stress or creative jobs, as there’s no better mental break than to take your pooch out for a walk around the block.
Case studies have shown that companies with pet-friendly policies have shown higher employee satisfaction, as they’re able to strike a better work-life balance. The strong bond between an owner and their pet is conducive for boosting morale and the general attitude among employees. Aside from the decreased sick days for people who bring their pets into work, studies have shown that employees tend to stay longer when they’re accompanied by their pooch.
Aside from all the health benefits of a pet-friendly policy, it also sets a tone for your company culture, namely that it promotes a comfortable, close-knit, and flexible work environment. This philosophy lends to a more vibrant and energetic space, where interactions among colleagues are more encouraged and easily facilitated.
In fact, a University of Michigan study suggests that dogs encourage team cohesion and trust. Additionally, when dealing with the right type of clients/consumers, having a dog in the office can help showcase the team’s approachability.
Aside from the benefits enjoyed by the employee, bringing your animal best friend to work greatly benefits him or her as well. More socialisation is extremely important for bettering temperament, and confidence when interacting with people or other animals in public. Also, it prevents against any behavioural issues that may stem from leaving the dog alone at home all day.
Today’s entrepreneurs do not like getting tied down and are inherently drawn towards options that let them progress at their own growth-plan. Personalisation and a sense of creative freedom has picked up the pace and is here to not only rule but also dominate the work culture.
As part of Garage Society’s Well-Being Month, we sat down with Dutch entrepreneur Madelon van de Ven, to learn more about her flourishing plant subscription startup and her mission to get more urbanites to experience the health and well-being benefits of plants.